A Nov. 15 preliminary hearing date was set today for a Bermuda Dunes man suspected of molesting a young family member and being in possession of several hundred sexually explicit photos of children.
Eugene Lee Johnston, 59, is charged with 19 felony counts — one count each of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under 10, committing more than three lewd acts with a child under 14, arousing a minor with harmful intentions and possessing matter of a minor in a sex act, and 15 counts of a lewd act with a child under 14.
The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough evidence for Johnston to stand trial.
Members of the Riverside County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement task force began investigating Johnston after receiving a report on Dec. 20 that he had allegedly sexually abused a young relative over a period of nearly three years.
The molestations allegedly occurred between early 2009 and December 2011, according to sheriff’s Sgt. John Hignight.
After executing a search warrant at Johnston’s house in the 40700 block of Cienega Place, task force investigators seized “several hundred child pornographic images on his home computer,” Hignight said.
Johnston was held at the county jail in Indio in lieu of $500,000 bail.